The Emergence of Water User Associations (WUAs) in Rwanda marshlands – Thierry Lassalle, GRET, France
Water Users Associations from Emergence to Convergence: Experiences from Rwanda and Burundi <br />Theme3: Water and Society Case study: Equitable Distribution of Water Rights and Access<br />
Preambule<br />This presentationrelates on-goingprocessesimplemented by the Governements of Rwanda and Burundi in collaboration withdonorsthroughspecificprojects. The authorinteractedwith the projects teams through short-term support missions.<br />Viewsexpressed in thispresentationonlyreflect the author’s and cannotbeconsidered as official positions.<br />2<br />
Background: willingpolicies…<br />In Rwanda and Burundi, processes were launched to set WUAs to manage irrigation water particularly in newly rehabilitated marshlands into rice fields.<br />Main characteristics<br /><ul><li>Many marshlands with infrastructure (dam, canals)
Marshlands surrounded by hillsides (soil erosion)
Rice mono-cropping by small-scale holders (<1ha)</li></ul>3<br />
…to address a triple challenge:<br /><ul><li> technico-economical: i)promotion of intensive ricecroppingsystems; ii)value chainswithfinancialreturns on investment.
water management: i)maintenance of irrigation infrastucture and water sharing; ii)soil conservation measures in hillsides (silting/sand).
socio-developmental: i)repartition of the added value beyond water usersamong the community; ii)fairaccess to irrigated land.</li></ul>4<br />
Issue1: Water fees for what water rights?<br />Local authorities are the custodian of all common goods, hence natural resources (water, lands…)<br />Challenges facing WUAs:<br /><ul><li>What is the scope of the responsibilities handed over to WUAs by the local authorities?</li></ul>Sharing-Maintenance-Access…<br /><ul><li>What means to be raised to fulfill this mandate? </li></ul>Running costs- investment costs-water fees <br />6<br />
Issue 2: Membersbut not yetusers? <br />Producers belong to rice cooperative who used to manage water services.<br />Challenges facing WUAs:<br /><ul><li>How to build ownership of the association and its mandate by the users? </li></ul> Elected leadership- Water fee payable at sale- Transparency on use of resources…<br /><ul><li>How to enforce rules upon defaulting users?</li></ul>Sharedrules- Attractive event- Equity (lowtolerancewith transparent decisionmaking)<br />7<br />
Issue 3: Not users, …not carers?<br />Hillside farmers’ practices affect the irrigated marshlands while some of them have no access to rice fields and subsequent incomes. <br />Challenges facing WUAs:<br /><ul><li>How to enforce hillsides common protection measures in individual plots?</li></ul>Education-Income generating activities- by-laws…<br /><ul><li>How to share water rights with hillside irrigation?</li></ul> WUA in hillsides- local negotiation process<br />8<br />
Severalvoices on behalf of « local interest » <br />9<br />4 legitimate groups <br /><ul><li>Local authorities mandated to ensure fair access to common goods to all citizens;
WUA mandated to ensure a sustainable use of irrigation water by all users;
Cooperative mandated to ensure viable incomes derived from the use of marshlands;
Hillside farmers groups mandated to ensure a sustainable and viable use of soil and water.</li></li></ul><li>A local forum for local water stakeholders? <br />10<br />“District Water Management Coordination Committees” are about to be set up to provide case-to-case answers to be effected through:<br /><ul><li> Contracts between stakeholders/